Now I could have said Mother’s Day, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m been overwhelmed with the need to talk about some of the strong women I know. Sure, there have been famous ones blogged about by me and other authors like political figures, astronauts, doctors, presidential wives, even a celebrity or two, but today I prefer to recognize those unknown to the media.
First on my list, my mother. Yes, my that’s Mama and me. I don’t speak of her a lot; she was what one might call an “interesting” woman. To this day, my sister and brother and I have a hard time explaining her sometimes unique behavior (another story awaits). If you’re as ancient as I am, you know the song, “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.” That was my mother’s theme song. She was creative but strong willed, a good wife and I suppose she was never wrong (or at least that’s what she told me). She never drove a car yet when I was a child, she walked blocks to volunteer at a nearby children’s hospital. She loved to write and concentrated on poetry. Liked to be the center of attention but wasn’t particularly social. An enigma, she passed away over twenty years ago and still remains somewhat of a mystery to me for she never talked about her childhood.
Lola was born in Montgomery, Alabama and living in Mobile when she met my father. A beautiful woman, she married at eighteen and a year later lost her first baby. She went on to have two healthy pregnancies, but losing two more babies before I came along. She wore the sorrow of the loss behind her eyes until the day she died. She lived through the Depression, my father’s failed attempts at business, and moving around a lot. She turned to alcohol late in life, as a last resort to ease the pain from extensive osteoporosis. She was the first strong woman I remember.
My daughter and daughter-in-law are next—two strong women who took different paths.
My daughter, Jennifer, chose to be a high-school English teacher. To my mind, one of the hardest jobs on the planet. And she’s not mediocre in this effort, she’s excellent. Ask her students. I admire her and am proud of her choices as a wife and a professional woman whose work ethic is beyond reproach. Her strength lies in her convictions while keeping family at the top of a demanding priority list.
My daughter-in-law, Kathie, is a busy, stay-at-home mom blessed with six children (ranging in age from 7 to 21) including one adopted from Guatemala and one from China. She carried her third child for close to nine months before finding out only he had already died. A wonderful wife to my son, her strength comes from within through her faith and having lost her own mother to Cancer.
There are others in my extended family and there are countless friends, fine women who have proven over and over again what it means to have a quiet strength of resolve in their everyday lives. None of them will make the headlines or rock any big boats, but each one has a story.
To name a few . . . Susie, Patty, Leslie, Shannon, Robin, Jane, Nancy, Patsy, Barbara, Diane, Cathy, Dixie, Kim, Gayle, Jenny, Julie, Willa, Dolores, Shelly, Lisa, Stephanie, Jan, Debra, and another Nancy. Plus many more.
How many strong women do you know? Think about it and you will be surprised. Each one has a different kind of strength and they’ve acquired it through life’s upheaval, sorrow, hardship, and often survival. These are women who seek out the joy, the calm, and the compassion rather than dwell on the negative and who are laying the groundwork for the future. If there’s a problem, they tackle it, face it, and most of the time find a solution or die fighting. In a time when brave women are speaking out about abuse, voicing their opinions, turning ripples into tsunamis, I have great hope that the women of the future will have even more strength to represent our amazing gender.
Remember, never underestimate a strong woman.
Next month – guest author post by Marilyn Simon Rothstein.
Thanks for stopping by,